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Community and Q&A

How to frame around sill plate breaks?

ztrain727 | Posted in General Questions on

Excuse the elementary question, but I’m confused about the code requirements for sill plate breaks. This is for a slab on grade, pressure treated sill/bottom plate. We have 36’ and 20’ walls and the largest pressure treated 2×6’s we can get are 16’, so inevitably there need to be breaks. Is it appropriate to just span a stud over the break and toenail it from both sides with a little bead of caulk to prevent air leakage? Or does there need to be some type of lap or Simpson tie like are used for single top plate builds?

Many thanks!

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  1. GBA Editor
    Martin Holladay | | #1

    As far as I know, if you are installing sill plates over a concrete foundation, you can locate your breaks wherever you want -- as long as the break isn't too near an anchor bolt.

    Choose long pieces of pressure-treated lumber without crooks, bends, or twists, because that will make it easier to hit the chalk line. Make sure that you have enough anchor bolts, and that the sill plate breaks don't occur too close to your anchor bolts.

    1. ztrain727 | | #2

      Thanks so much Martin!

      So does the requirement for anchor bolts to be 1’ from corners and wall breaks not apply to sill plate breaks?

      I spaced our anchor bolts with the plan to raise 20’ sections of wall, but since no one sells 20’ PT 2x6s, we have a dilemma. I could potentially expoxy more bolts in, but would prefer to avoid the hassle.

      From the ICC forum: “From R403.1.6. ...The wood sole plate at exterior walls on monolithic slabs and wood sill plate shall be anchored to the foundation with anchor bolts spaced a maximum of 6 feet (1829 mm) on center. There shall be a minimum of two bolts per plate section with one bolt located not more than 12 inches (305 mm) or less than seven bolt diameters from each end of the plate section...”

      I assume this applies...

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